Good companies aren't sold.

Generations of entrepreneurs have passed on the saying, but it doesn't tell the whole story. More companies see successful exits through an M&A process than by going public. You have to plan and sell if you want to be bought by the best buyer.

It's likely that you started your company because you wanted to make a difference. You are building something that will change the world for the better. There is a financial outcome there. In the context of a financial outcome, people will focus on the exit strategy.

Any investor or mentor will tell you that when a company says they want to buy you, the right answer is, “We are not for sale.”

Many founders are more focused on the potential for impact. My advice is to always consider acquisition for these types of entrepreneurs. An acquisition is the best path to massive scale.

Prior to becoming an early-stage investor, I worked for Microsoft in Europe and Israel. As Microsoft looked for innovative teams and technologies, I was on the other side of the negotiation. Those who had planned for it from the beginning were the ones who were able to take advantage of the most.

Planning for a potential acquisition is not a defeatist attitude

The companies are more likely to be sold.